Weather: West Coast's SH6, near Harihari, closed due to flooding

State Highway 6 on the West Coast has been closed to Harihari due to flooding, while the flu is spreading across the country bringing heavy rainfall to many areas.

MetService has issued various warnings of heavy rain and clocks on Sunday, as well severe storm in Canterbury.

Police confirmed Sunday afternoon that State Highway 6, near Harihari, had been closed due to flooding and advised motorists to avoid the area, which is located near Hokitika and Franz Josef.

A spokesman for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) said the closure was caused by an explosion at Harold Creek. The Civil Defense said the river was reported to have overflowed its banks.

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MetService meteorologist Hordur Thordarson said rain had been falling near Harihari since Friday. A meteor shower near the town recorded about 300 millimeters of rain in the last 24 hours, he said.

“There is a future that brings a lot of rain to them right now.”

Thordarson said the front is heading north, which is why it should rain Sunday night. A major fall can last until 6 or 7pm.

Areas north of Harihari, including Hokitika, Greymouth and Westport, may experience low rainfall, but not much rainfall, Thordarson said.

Henry Schmetz, who owns a shop and cafe in Pukeko in Harihari, said heavy rains were still falling on Sunday afternoon and the town was flooded.

“We have experienced heavy rains like this in the past and the weather report is that tonight it will be fine so don’t worry,” he said.

“We are in an agricultural area, farmers should take care of their animals, bring sheep to higher ground and so on.”

An employee of the Hari Hari hotel said he had several unexpected guests, unable to return home.

He relates: “A young man who has been here for 56 years said that it is the worst rain of all.

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West Coast security chief Claire Brown said in Harihari there was a temporary power outage and down a government highway.

The NZTA will re-inspect the roads at 8am on Monday, he said.

It had rained heavily from Harihari to Hokitika, he said. The Hokitika River was a major source of concern.

“It follows what we have experienced in recent years when we were flooded, so it is still good, and we hope that if it rains until the evening this will remain the case.”

Harold Creek, outside Harihari, reportedly had broken into his banks, Brown said. The NZTA was heading for the river now to get back on track.

He also said that Civil Defense personnel are in a state of flux as to whether emergency communications should be reopened.

Rainfall forecasts across the country

The cold front is expected to head north across the South Island on Sunday, and head to North Island on Monday for a slow-moving tour, MetService says.

Heavy rains are reaching many parts of western and central New Zealand on Sunday and Monday.  (image file)


Heavy rains are reaching many parts of western and central New Zealand on Sunday and Monday. (image file)

Ahead lies the wet north river, bringing heavy rains to the central and southern regions. This will be followed by cold south waters which could also cause heavy rainfall in some areas. MetService says.

Important rainforests and parts of the West Coast and areas north of the South Island, and the lower parts of the North Island, rise up to Mount Taranaki. While Canterbury is also expected to see a storm on Sunday.

The storm is beginning

A stormy rain located in the valleys of Canterbury and the mainland of Canterbury on Sunday afternoon, between 3pm – 8pm.

Thunderstorms are expected to occur In some parts of Canterbury day and night, it brings heavy rain and storms between 90kmh – 110kmh.

A local forecaster said there was a risk of a severe typhoon in southern Rakaia, which posed a potential hurricane of more than 110kmh, as well as the risk of severe storms.

This powerful windstorm can wreak havoc on construction, including wood and power lines, and can make driving extremely dangerous. If a hurricane occurs, it will only affect the surrounding areas, MetService says.


Winter temperatures reach all parts of southern Taupō on Sundays and Mondays, but warm and humid weather continues in the north.

Heavy rain warnings are in place

Heavy rain warnings are located in the areas of Mount Taranaki and Tararua Range, from 9pm Sunday to midnight Monday. Between 120mm – 180mm rain is expected to fall in these areas, especially Monday morning.

Heavy rain warning is also available in Westland, between Otira and Haast, all Sunday and lasts until 8pm. Between 120mm – 180mm rainfall is expected to fall above the level of what has already fallen, resulting in rainfall in the event reaching 400mm – 500mm or more, MetService says. Coastal areas can expect rainfall levels of 60mm – 90mm.

Another warning is located at the headwaters of Canterbury and rivers near southern Arthur’s Pass, Sunday through 8pm. Another rainfall of 100mm – 150mm is expected to split, and 50mm – 70 mm within 15km east of the section.

Heavy rains are expected in New Zealand in mid-Sunday (file photo).


Heavy rains are expected in New Zealand in mid-Sunday (file photo).

Where there are rain clocks

The surface of South Island is heavily rainy, with a forecast for Tasman, west of Motueka, between 4pm Sunday and 3am Monday.

Another watch is on the Richmond and Bryant bands, including Rai Valley and areas north of Marlborough Sounds, between 6pm Sunday to 11am Monday.

The clock is in Buller’s position every Sunday, until midnight.

Wellington and Wairarapa, south of Greytown, could expect heavy rainfall on Monday morning. The clock is between 3am – 9am Monday.

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